What Stirs You? Create a Match.com Summer Singles Event and Win!

Match_logoA year ago, Match.com did something interesting to expand the world of online dating.  They took things offline with their Match.com’s Stir, offline singles events for Match.com members. In just one year…Match has hosted 2,850 events – broken down, that’s 14 events each day, 75 events a week, 320 events per month! Match has collaborated with over 1,200 venues and partners, including House of Blues, Banana Republic, Sur la Table and Warrior Dash, along with local gems in each city. Match is throwing singles events in over 80 cities across America – including events in Anchorage and Honolulu! Over 225,000 singles have attended a Stir event to date.

As we all know, online dating doesn’t really occur online.  The real magic happens offline.  Online dating is an efficient way to meet new people in real life.  Stir is Match.com’s answer to offline events, offering a wide range of activities to Match.com members around the country ranging from large-scale happy hours at popular venues, to more intimate events like tequila tastings and DJ lessons.

In celebration of the Stir anniversary, Match.com is offering the opportunity for singles to create their own Stir event, and if their event is chosen, to work with Match Stir event planners to bring it to life!

Visit Match.com’s “What Stirs You?” Contest Page, now through Tuesday May 28th, 2013 and tell Match.com what you think would make for the perfect singles event to be entered to win. Entries will be judged based on quality, creativity, uniqueness and geographical relevance.

The selected winner will have their idea re-created by the Match.com Stir Events team in their city, and will receive an invitation to attend the event along with ten of their singles friends – all at no charge! In addition, the winner will also receive a free six-month Match.com subscription.

 

Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Match.com

The micro-blogging site that changed the world…

Seven years ago today, a site launched that would change my life. 18 months later I would find out about it and sign up. I learned about Twitter at work. I was reading some article about marketing and the author mentioned this new micro-blogging site that was starting to take off.

At first, I didn’t get it. As you can see from my very first tweet…it wasn’t interesting.

The tweet that started it all.

The tweet that started it all.

Eventually, Twitter became another creative writing outlet for me. In this ADD world, it was perfect. The thoughts that crowded my mind would quickly find an escape. Not all of my thoughts were lengthy enough for a blog post, but they needed to be expressed. I’d already been blogging for three years at that point, but my creativity was always yearning for another outlet.

What I didn’t know then was that in 3 and a half years, I would meet the love of my life through Twitter.

At first, I followed people whose blogs I read. I’d regularly commented on them, but Twitter let me interact with them in almost real time. Eventually, I started following whoever they were following because their retweets were interesting. Through the course of my online life, I gathered more people to follow and who followed me.

One of those people lead me to Paul. I still remember the day I started following him. His profile and his tweets called to something in me. We seemed to have the same outlook on so many things, the same sense of humor…Plus, I liked the picture of the gopher he used in his avatar.

It was at tweetups that I made the conversion of online friends to friends in real life. It still amazes me that if you interact with someone on Twitter enough, you will get the gist of how they are in real life. And they only have 140 characters to get their point across.

So, here’s to you, Twitter. Thank you to those people who invented you and keep you running. I’m moving to Minnesota next month to live with Paul and it’s all your fault that I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Dating via the internet

Patience is not one of my strong points. I miss my boyfriend so damn much. It’s ridiculous. Part of me wants to just visit him for a weekend to rejuvenate myself. But, you know what’s almost as good? A Skype date. It’s cheaper and quicker.

skype, online dating, technology

Skype, a dating tool for the new millennium.

When you’re a thousand and a half miles away from the love of your life, you will take whatever interaction you can get.  Because up and quitting your job while you still need to bulk up your savings isn’t prudent.

We just had a Skype date and I feel like my anxiety has subsided. Serenity has returned to my brain.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still eager to being this new part of my life. I can’t wait to go on more adventures with Paul. There are more Snoopys to find. I finally get to go to a real state fair. Sorry, California, but our state fair isn’t really a great state fair like the song says. It’s just an OK state fair.

What do we do on a Skype date? Pretty much what we do on a regular date, except there’s no hand holding or good night kiss. It can be a little awkward at first, but aren’t all dates like that? Plus, I have to make sure I don’t start acting like a distracted 3 year old. When I see the mini image of my camera feed, I try to sit up straight, fix my hair, adjust my cleavage. I tend to forget that someone else is watching. Something tells me that Paul doesn’t mind though.

The worst thing I do is pick up my stupid phone. It’s a bad habit. I’m not looking at anything important. I’m just addicted to the screen or something. I try not to do that. It’s rude.

I hope you didn’t find this post by looking for advice on Skype dates…OK, I do have some, but of course, it’s silly:

  1. Dress to impress: Well, at least from the waist up. Wear something that makes you feel pretty or sexy. It will come through on the date. Don’t just show up in a freaking sweatshirt. It’s a date, dammit.
  2. Lighting: You don’t need Hollywood lighting, but at least be aware if your surroundings are too dark for the camera or if you are back-lit. Your date wants to see you. That’s the whole point otherwise you might as well text.
  3. Camera angle: Again, you don’t need to set the web cam on a high shelf or use some other trickery, but at least do a dry run to see what you look like. Looking down at the camera is usually not flattering. Try to make it at eye level or just a little higher.

Singles: Not Doomed

The other day I got a Google Alert about “dating in Sacramento.” The local Fox affiliate did a piece called Dating in Sacramento, Are Singles Doomed? Instantly, I was pissed off.

It wasn’t because the folks at Fox40 didn’t ask a Sacramento dating blogger for her opinion after documenting years in the local dating scene…it was because of this thought that popped into my head:

“Dammit, stop trying to feed into people’s fears to get them to watch your programming!”

Being single isn’t the same as being doomed. There’s nothing wrong with being single. Yes, it’s tough on Valentine’s Day, which is when they aired the piece, but other than that it’s not that bad.

Dating is hard, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s not because of being in Sacramento. It’s tough all over the whole world. Get on any social media platform and you will see singles across the globe lamenting the poor ratio of available and/or suitable dates.

The problem isn’t in the numbers. The problem is in the quality. People mostly suck. They are rude and scared and dating brings it all out of them.

We are all guilty of it. Most of us grow up at some point, but many don’t. Take it from a gal who has kissed her fair share of frogs. If I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t appreciate the prince who finally found me…or I found him…either way, we found each other after years of heartbreak from others.

The one thing the video clip said that is true is that you have to look to find love. It goes back to my “take a chance” stance.  Thank goodness they didn’t barf up that old “you’ll find love when you’re not looking for it” cliche.  Anyone who says that to a single person needs to be whipped by a wet noodle.

Romance: It ain’t dead.

Love actually is all around.

Love actually is all around.

Valentine’s Day and my very first valentine was 1,500 miles away. I come home from work. Nothing in the mail for me. Sadness and frustration begin to set in.

I text Paul. No response. I was this close to throwing on sweats and calling it a day, but instead put on a purple shirt I hate and jeans just in case he wanted to Skype. The shirt could easily be changed. The jeans were needed to keep me from feeling too blah.

My dad had disappeared on some mysterious work dinner. “On Valentine’s Day? That’s odd.” My mom shrugged.

Starving, I made myself a giant bowl of pasta, chock full of garlic. What did I care? The one man I wanted to kiss wasn’t nearby.

Still no reply from Paul. Odd. He’s usually pretty good about replying.

Frustration and now confusion mounting, I watched Big Bang Theory, a show we both love. My emotions start to ease a bit. I check Facebook. My cousin posted a note about his mother’s struggle with cancer. Such a wonderful person shouldn’t have to fight such an awful disease, I lamented as the tears began to well up in my eyes.

I wanted chocolate to soothe me. None was around.

I heard a car door. My dad was home. The door opened…

“Hi, honey! I’m home!”

OH MY GOD!

Paul walked in the room!

I can’t believe the surprise. I was already emotional and started to cry with joy. I had no idea he was coming. I think I hugged him for five minutes, smearing mascara all over his hockey jersey.

His visit was my Valentine gift. Never before had I received such a wonderful gift. It was the type of thing you read about in silly romantic comedies. Fantasies like that don’t happen in real life, do they? Your boyfriend flies into town for a surprise Valentine’s Day visit. Do men really do that?

Paul is the most romantic person I’ve ever met. He planned it perfectly and apparently had been planning it for months. Never once did I suspect that he was going to give me such a spectacular gift. I still can’t believe he was really here.

My entire life I will remember the moment he walked in the door, “I can’t believe you’re here!” I couldn’t stop saying that even up to the moment he hopped on the plane back to Minnesota. I was overwhelmed by his romantic gesture.

This entire weekend I was filled with the feeling of being amazed by a man who loves me. I will tell our grandchildren “If you want to know how to be romantic, take a lesson from your grandfather. He’s got one heck of a Valentine’s Day story to tell.”

Single People: Have a Hopeful Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day, Paul.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Paul.

For the first time in my life, I have a Valentine. Oh what a Valentine. He makes me laugh. We seem to be on the same wavelength or page about everything. I am head over heels in love with him.

It’s nothing short of a miracle.

This time last year, I was lonely, bitter, and pretty much convinced that I’d never be in a relationship as an adult. Little did I know that a guy who lived 1,500 miles away would do something crazy in a few months and change my life for the better. What did he do? He decided to take a chance and visit a woman he’d only known digitally through social media.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that story, but you also know the pain of my previous loneliness.

On this Valentine’s Day, I want anyone who might be reading this who feels lonely, bitter, and little hope to stay hopeful. I am convinced that there is someone out there for everyone. Even in the depths of my despair, I clung to that hope. I am so glad that I did.

I was rewarded with the sweetest boyfriend ever. I actually found someone I love who loves me back. He makes me laugh. He excites me beyond words. I can’t stop crying as I write this because I miss him terribly, but I know in a couple of months we will be together again. That’s the crazy chance I’m taking, moving in with a guy I’ve only been dating for 5 months. I’m picking up my whole life and moving it to Minnesota because I know it’s going to be awesome to be with him.

I have no advice on how to find that person meant for you. All the advice given me was bunk, except one thing: Take a chance.

Match.com Studies Singles in America

Singles in America Match.comWhat does it mean to be single in America? Match.com put together a study with some interesting results. They selected their survey sample based on the US census with a representative sample of ethnicity, gender, geography, age, etc.

Dr. Helen Fisher presented their findings to some single/dating bloggers in New York City this past Saturday. Here are a few things I found interesting:

You can be madly in love at any age. It’s not just for young people.

Men are more romantic than women. In fact, gay men were the most romantic out of everyone. Why? Apparently when there are barriers to love you become more romantic.

Single men are twice as likely to say their first love was before the age of 10. That actually sounds about right…I mean isn’t that about the time when puberty is beginning its harsh reality in girls? Boys are going to take notice even if they don’t realize what’s going on. It’s also true that men fall in love faster than women because they are more visual. Men are more likely to believe in love at first sight because of their visual nature.

Anyone who has spent time in the online dating world has lamented running into a profile riddled with poor grammar. According to Dr. Fisher, people with better grammar will probably get further in life, hence why singles pay attention to the way someone uses their words.

45% have had a friends with benefits (or FWB) relationship turn into a long term partnership in 2012. Friends with benefits & one-night stands are emerging as a new stage in courting process.

90% of singles who want to get married are optimistic about marriage and think they can stay married forever.

Speaking of the marrieds who were surveyed in this survey, what do married people miss about single life? An independent schedule is the only thing they mentioned.

Married people have more sex, orgasms & go out just as often as singles. Let’s face it. They only have more sex because they have a steady source of it. It’s not easy to have sex on a regular basis if you can’t even get to a second date!

Speaking of getting to that second date, 40% of singles have fallen in love with someone they didn’t initially find attractive. Dr. Fisher said, and I agree, you should try to think of reasons to say yes when on a date. My rule of thumb when I was actively dating was that unless I felt frightened or appalled, I would always give a guy a second date. Why? If you hang around long enough, you might realize that he’s smart, funny, sweet… She could be supportive, a great lover…Take a chance!  If you would want someone to take a chance on you, why wouldn’t you do the same for someone else?

You can read more about Match.com’s Singles in America study by clicking this link to read it on their blog or click here to listen to Dr. Helen Fisher’s presentation.

This is a sponsored post for Match.com.